Monday, 26 August 2013

The latest political gimmick: Francois Hollande and other European leaders say goodbye to extended vacations

Europe's leaders are cutting their holidays, according to this Bloomberg news article:

European leaders are saying goodbye to the extended vacations that were a continental norm until the global crisis broke out in high summer six years ago.
As the region’s economy labors to solidify its recovery, French President Francois Hollande has barely taken any time off and ordered his cabinet members to stay within commuting distance of Paris. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta ensured that either he or his deputy would be in Rome all through August. And in Greece, the epicenter of the euro crisis, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras took just four days off and even then found time to fire the head of the state asset sales fund. --

Even though this summer is the quietest for European crisis fighters in six years, rising unemployment and the advent of social media such as Twitter nevertheless means that even those leaders still taking extended breaks may struggle to do so for much longer, said Dubois.
The unemployment rate across the 17-nation euro area is at 12.1 percent, with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicting the rates for Spain and Greece are set to rise to about 28 percent by the end of next year.
While the region exited its longest-ever recession in the second quarter, the European Central Bank predicts that the bloc’s economy will shrink 0.6 percent in all of 2013.

Of course this shortening of vacations is nothing but a pseudo activity in order to make voters believe that the elected leaders are a hard working bunch of people. In reality France - and most other countries - would benefit if Hollande and his European colleagues would instead opt for prolonged, or even permanent, vacations.                               

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